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Repaying your
student loans

Earning your degree is a personally fulfilling endeavor. But after all that hard work and those long nights, followed by the jubilation of graduation, you know what’s next: it’s time to pay back your federal student loans.

Essential quick links

Connect with your loan servicer

Frequently asked questions

Loan repayment challenges

Avoid student loan scams

Connect with your loan servicer

As you prepare for repayment, we recommend setting up an online account with your loan servicer to ensure your contact information is correct for communications and updates. Be sure to review your options, select the plan that fits your budget, and submit any necessary applications and supporting documentation.

Federal Student Aid

Log in to your federal student aid account for more information about your loan servicer and how to repay your federal student loans.

Federal Student Aid

Make sure to bookmark this page for future reference — even after you’ve completed your degree program.

Prepare for repayment

After reviewing your account with your servicer and understanding your payments, consider enrolling in automatic debit with your servicer(s). This will help you to stay on track and you may receive a 0.25% interest rate deduction.

Stay informed about your student loans

If you have questions, we encourage you to contact your loan servicer(s) or you can contact us at

Frequently asked questions

When you first enter repayment, you’ll need to contact your loan servicer for details about repayment plans. To find out which servicer holds your federal loans, your best option is to visit You’ll need the FSA ID you used to electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). If you’ve forgotten your FSA ID username or password, you can retrieve it here. If you took out private, non-federal loans, you can usually find those on your credit report.

Set up an account with your servicer(s). From the servicer’s website, you can view your total balance, payments and due dates, as well as other options for your loans. This is the easiest way to stay on top of your loans.

A list of servicers may be found at  You can visit to find out the servicer for your student loans.

A list of servicers and contact information can be found at You can visit to find out the servicer for your student loans.

Sometimes you may owe on several student loans that were borrowed at different times. If one servicer has a loan in repayment and other servicers do not, you may need to update your enrollment status with all of your loan servicers. Federal student loans have a six-month grace period. If you attended school previously and used up your six-month consecutive grace period, those loans will enter repayment while newer loans may be in their grace period. If you notice any discrepancies, contact your loan servicer and notify them of your current situation and update your contact information to ensure you receive any correspondence they may send.

If you qualify, paying for higher education may provide some tax relief. To learn more about different tax benefits, visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website and use the current tax year IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education.”

Some individuals can take advantage of a tax credit resulting in a student loan interest deduction of up to $2,500 per year. If you pay more than $600 in interest to any single loan servicer, that servicer will send you a form 1098-E indicating the total amount of interest paid. If you do not receive a 1098-E from your servicer, you can contact the servicer or use your online student loan tools to determine how much interest you paid. Publication 970 provides more information about this deduction, too.

The Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities Statement is attached to the Master Promissory Note (MPN) you signed when you applied for your federal financial aid loan. Here’s an overview of those expectations:

You have the right to:

  • Written information on your loan obligations.
  • A copy of the MPN, either before or at the time the loan is disbursed.
  • A grace period and an explanation of what that means.
  • Notification, if in a grace period or repayment, no later than 45 days after a lender assigns, sells or transfers the loan to another lender.
  • Receive a disclosure statement before repayment begins that includes information about interest rates, fees, the balance owed and a loan repayment schedule.
  • Deferment or forbearance of repayment for certain defined periods, if qualified and requested.
  • Prepay your loan in whole or in part anytime without an early-repayment penalty.
  • Documentation that your loan is paid in full.

You are responsible for:

  • Completing exit counseling before leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment.
  • Repaying your loan according to your repayment schedule — even if you’ve not completed your academic program, are dissatisfied with the education received or are unable to find employment after graduation.
  • Notifying the lender or loan servicer if you:
    • Move or change your address
    • Change your telephone number
    • Change your name
    • Change your Social Security number
    • Change employers, or if your employer’s address or telephone number changes
  • Making monthly payments on your loan after the grace period ends, unless you received a deferment or forbearance.
  • Notifying your lender or loan servicer of anything that might later change your eligibility for an existing deferment or forbearance.

When you first received federal financial aid, you were likely required to complete entrance counseling. This process explains the basics about federal student loans, the Master Promissory Note you signed, your student loan rights and responsibilities, and general information about repayment.

When you are no longer in attendance at University of Phoenix, you will either complete exit counseling or be sent materials for your review. Exit counseling provides more in-depth information about how to repay your loans and what to do when you’re having difficulty making payments.

Exit counseling can be completed at

Our commitment to you doesn’t end when you’re no longer enrolled. Our Repayment Counseling Center will communicate with you to help you prepare for repayment, and answer questions you may have during repayment.

We also partner with Student Connections who will communicate with you through mail, email or telephone to assist in the same way.

Below are answers to several questions you may have about loan servicers and the communication process:

You may be contacted by the Repayment Counseling Center or our partner Student Connections, even if you are in a non-delinquent status, in an effort to assist you with successful loan repayment. 

If we indicate you are delinquent, please understand that there can be a lag of approximately one month for status updates between all parties. If your loan servicer has notified you that all loans are current, please advise the representative you are speaking to. If we contact you again the following month about your loans being delinquent, reach out to your loan servicer – it is possible you may have other loans with different servicers.

The Privacy Act Notice section of the Master Promissory Note authorizes the release of your information to third parties for activities required to service your loans and to facilitate timely repayment. Student Connections is calling on behalf of the University to explain options that can help you with successful loan repayment.

Loan servicers must confirm your identity before disclosing any personal information. They may ask for your full Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and confirm your contact information. Doing so actually protects your personal information by ensuring they are speaking with the correct person and not releasing information about your account unauthorized.

Yes, but for discussions with University of Phoenix,  only if a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release form is on file with the University. The FERPA release form can be found on your student website, My Phoenix. Keep in mind that servicers have their own process for releasing information to third parties and Power of Attorneys may be required to be on file with your servicer in order to make changes on your behalf. 

University of Phoenix is a non-term school at which progress is measured in successfully completed credit hours earned over a period of weeks of instructional time. Each federal financial aid disbursement is for a payment period that requires completion of a minimum number of credits and weeks of instruction.

If you withdraw from classes or have a break in attendance longer than 14 days, we are required by federal law to calculate the unearned portion of your federal financial aid disbursements and return those funds to the source (the loan servicer or Department of Education). The process of returning loan funds lowers the principal on your student loan because you are no longer borrowing the portion of the loan funds returned.

Federal financial aid funds earned for the payment period will remain on your account and may be used to pay for institutional charges like tuition and electronic course materials. The balance due on the loan funds you actually use is always payable to the loan servicer.

If the institutional charges for the payment period are greater than financial aid funds for that same period, there may be a remaining account balance with the University. It is the student’s responsibility to pay this balance to the University, not to the lender.

In certain situations, you can have your federal student loan forgiven, canceled or discharged. To find out whether you qualify due to job status, disability, the closure of your school or other circumstances, please visit the forgiveness-cancellation section of the Federal Student Aid website.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was established to encourage individuals to pursue full-time employment in vital public service jobs.  The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

To learn more, visit and review’s PSLF FAQs. Or you can visit the PSLF servicer’s, MOHELA, site.  

You can use the PSLF Help Tool to search for a qualifying employer, learn what actions you may need to take to become eligible, and generate the form you need at

NOTICE:  We understand that some of our students may have prior loans that are already in repayment, and that others may be close to entering repayment. You may have recently seen ads on Facebook or through e-mails advertising services such as consolidation, lowering monthly payments, or even forgiveness of your student loans.  Many of these companies require an up-front fee or charge for their services on an ongoing basis. We want you to know that the programs these companies are advertising are all offered to Federal student loan borrowers, at no charge, from the Department of Education and through your loan servicers.  

Please contact your loan servicer regarding your options as they are there to assist you with choosing the best repayment option for you.  If you are unsure of how to contact your servicer, you can find all your federal loan information by logging in to

Loan repayment challenges

If you’re having difficulty making your payments, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. It’s important you do so before your loan(s) become delinquent — to protect your credit.

You've got options for loan repayment

Several options are available for borrowers struggling to make payments, and your loan servicer can help you better understand how to select or change your payment plan — you may be able to reduce the monthly payment amount to $0 per month — or apply for a deferment or forbearance.

Here's more insight

When you first enter repayment, your loan servicer will ask you to select a repayment plan. If you don’t select one, you’ll be placed on the Standard Repayment Plan. If you want to change your payment amount, you can do so by changing your plan. Use the Loan Simulator on or contact your loan servicer to see how your monthly payment and total cost will change on different payment plans. 
Each of the available repayment plans is briefly explained below. Visit Federal Student Aid repayment plans to learn more.

Under this plan, your monthly payments are a fixed amount of at least $50 each month and made for up to 10 years for most loan types. If you have a Direct Consolidation Loan or FFEL Consolidation Loan, the length of your repayment period under the Standard Repayment Plan can range up to 30 years depending on the amount of your total education loan indebtedness.

Your monthly payments may be higher than payments made under other plans, but you’ll pay off your loan in the shortest amount of time. For this reason, you will pay the least amount of interest over the life of your loan.

For more information on this repayment plan, please contact your servicer or visit


Under this plan, your monthly payments start out low and increase every two years and made for up to 10 years for most loan types. If you have a Direct Consolidation Loan or FFEL Consolidation Loan, the length of your repayment period under the Graduated Repayment Plan can range up to 30 years depending on the amount of your total education loan indebtedness.

If your income is low now, but you expect it to increase steadily over time, this plan may be right for you. Your monthly payment will never be less than the amount of interest that accrues between payments. Your monthly payment will increase in time, but no single payment on this plan will be more than three times greater than any other payment.

For more information on this repayment plan, please contact your servicer or visit

Under this plan, your monthly payments are a fixed or graduated amount, made for up to 25 years, and are generally lower than payments made under the Standard and Graduated Repayment Plans.

To qualify for this plan, you must have a minimum of $30,000 of the same loan type – Direct Loans or FFEL Program loans. For example, if you have $35,000 in outstanding FFEL Program loans and $10,000 in outstanding Direct Loans, you could choose the Extended Repayment Plan for your FFEL Program loans, but not for your Direct Loans.

If you need to make lower monthly payments over a longer period of time, this plan may be right for you.

For more information on this repayment plan, please contact your servicer or visit

If your monthly payment is high in comparison to your income, you might consider one of these plans. Most federal student loans are eligible for at least one Income-Driven Repayment Plan. If your income is low enough, your payment could be as low as $0 per month.

An Income-Driven Repayment Plan sets your monthly student loan payment at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on your income and family size.

There are five Income-Driven Repayment Plans:

  • Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Plan
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan
  • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan

Income-Driven Repayment Plans are 20 – 25 year plans depending on the plan you choose and the type of loans you have. Generally, your payment amount under an Income-Driven Repayment Plan is a percentage of your discretionary income. The percentage is different depending on the plan, but it generally ranges between 10-20 percent.

These plans also have potential interest subsidy benefits (with the exception of the ICR Plan) and loan forgiveness benefits.

It’s important to recertify your income and family size annually by the specified deadline. Another option is to give consent for ED to access your tax information automatically to recertify your plan each year. The consequences of not recertifying on time vary depending on the plan, but most plans will return to the Standard Repayment Plan or an alternative repayment plan which will no longer be based on your income. In addition to these consequences, if you don’t recertify your income by the annual deadline under the IBR plan, any unpaid interest will be capitalized (added to the principal balance of your loans).

If you miss your recertification date, you can still reapply. It is never too late to reapply and you can always reapply early if your income and/or family size changes to have your payments recalculated.

For more information on Income-Driven Repayment Plans, please contact your servicer or visit To help you determine your eligibility and estimate payment amounts under any of these plans, you can use

Deferment is a temporary suspension of student loan payments for a specific situation, such as unemployment or enrolling in school at least half time. If you have a subsidized student loan, interest will not accrue during a deferment. If you have an unsubsidized loan, interest will accrue during a deferment.

If you satisfy the requirements for deferment — unemployment, hardship or enrollment in school at least half time — you may be required to complete a deferment form and return it to your loan servicer.

Deferment forms can be completed electronically or  downloaded from the loan servicer’s website. You can also access forms from Complete and return your deferment forms to each of your loan servicers.

In some cases, your loans will automatically go into deferment if you return to school at least half time. Enrollment information typically takes 4-6 weeks to update with your loan servicers.

Speak with your loan servicer about this option, keeping in mind that you’ll be responsible to pay any interest that accrues during a deferment. You may pay those interest charges before the loan is capitalized (added to the principal balance). 

Learn more about deferment options by visiting

Forbearance is a temporary postponement of payments or a reduction in the payment amount for a period of time when the borrower is experiencing financial difficulty. Forbearance is not subsidized by the government, which means you’re responsible for the payment of any interest that accrues. This status is generally for individuals who have exhausted other options for resolving a delinquent loan.

For more information on forbearance, please contact your servicer or visit

A borrower should never have to default on a federal student loan. Remember to contact your loan servicer as soon as possible to discuss your options.

A loan is in default when you fail to pay several regular installments on time or otherwise fail to meet the terms and conditions of the loan repayment agreement. Your federal student loan is considered in default when it reaches 270 days of delinquency. If your federal student loans are over 270 days past due, reach out to your loan servicer to discuss options to bring the account current before the loans are transferred to the guarantor.

Defaulting on a federal student loan has serious consequences including:

  • Costs associated with the collection process may be added to the balance.
  • The holder of the loan can take legal action to recover the money.
  • Your wages can be garnished.
  • Income tax refunds and federal benefit payments may be withheld.
  • Default is reported to the national credit reporting agencies.
  • Loss of eligibility for future federal financial aid, unless a satisfactory repayment schedule is arranged.
  • Loss of eligibility for some federal and/or state jobs in certain fields (ex., criminal justice).
  • Generally, your student loan is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

One consequence of default is losing eligibility for federal financial aid. To regain eligibility, contact your loan servicer or guarantor to discuss options to bring the account current before the loans are transferred to the guarantor or collection agency. If your loans have already been transferred, you can reach out to the guarantor or collection agency to discuss how to rehabilitate your defaulted loans. Rehabilitation is a good option because the loan is no longer in default and is reported as such to the national credit reporting agencies.

Our repayment partner

We’ve teamed up with Student Connections to answer your student loan repayment questions. If your account is with Student Connections, you can contact them through the listed options.

Avoid student loan scams

If you are contacted by a company asking you to pay “enrollment,” “subscription,” or “maintenance” fees to enroll you in a federal repayment plan or forgiveness program, you should walk away.

These services and more can be completed by your servicer for free!

Want to learn more? Read “How to Avoid Student Loan Forgiveness Scams”.